By Moses Nyirenda
The Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) has bemoaned the increase of non-revenue water losses which is coming due to theft of water supplying equipment, illegal water connections and other related issues.
In an interview with the Malawi News Agency (Mana), LWB Chief Executive Officer, Engineer Alfonso Chikuni said the board is worried with the development.
“We are very concerned with the losses that we are making due to theft, vandalism and water pipe bursts, from last year up to now we have lost about K4 billion which is huge amount of money,” Chikuni said.
He added that, the board in partnership with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is committed to adopt measures including monitoring of illegal water connections and pipe leakages in a bid to cub the challenge.
LWB and JICA are implementing a project dubbed Strengthening the Capacity of Non-revenue Water Reduction for Lilongwe Water Board in order to reduce non-revenue water loses.
Recently, JICA supported LWB with equipment for Non-Revenue Water (NRW) reduction which included modern excavators and the equipment was commissioned by the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa.
During the commissioning of the equipment, Nankhumwa commended JICA for supporting LWB in reducing water losses, saying the assistance would help boost income generation of LWB hence improving safe water supply in Lilongwe City..
The Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Kae Yanagisawa told Mana that her embassy through the Government of Japan is committed to support LWB in reducing losses which come due to non-revenue water.
“We are worried that Lilongwe Water Board is losing 36 percent of its revenue because of non-revenue water, for this reason we have invested about $3.3 million to support the water board in dealing with the issues of non-revenue water,” she said.
She also said that they will also provide technical support through waterworks experts from Japan’s oldest water bureau known as Yokohama Waterworks Bureau.